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FGM still rife in Mt. Elgon

11 June 2013, 18:05 Arap Yego

Women and young girls in Mt Elgon Constituency are still undergoing the outlawed Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Speaking over the weekend at Cheptais CDF Hall during a workshop convened by Western Education Advocacy and Empowerment Program (WEAEP), an organisation that fights for gender rights, over 30 chiefs and assistant chiefs from the region agreed that the practice is still rife among the Sabaots, especially in areas that border Mt Elgon forest.

However, the chiefs said the practice is now carried out discretely unlike before, thus straining efforts to stamp out the vice.
Sylvia Muganda, WEAP Director, said they are concerned that the rights of women and the girl child are being grossly violated with complete disregard to the existing laws.

Muganda said that the chiefs being the members of the provincial administration that are closest to the grassroots have a vital role to play to end abuse of women rights.

"As administrators, you have an avenue through public meetings to teach members to uphold women rights. You must sensitise them that practices like FGM have been outlawed. Let them not run afoul of the FGM Act 2011," said Muganda.

She disclosed that the next phase of the program will focus on traditional circumcisers. "We will prevail upon the surgeons to abandon carrying out the harmful practice.  We will initiate alternative means of income for them," pledged Muganda.

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